Re-intubating Rudy yesterday made for an immediately noticeable change. His lungs inflated more, his color changed and his oxygen sats went up to where they needed to be. While he always seemed a bit rigid to me on the vent previously, this morning he was moving around and taking an interest in toys as I held them up over his head. He spiked a fever today, so we’re on infection watch (nothing new). His kidney function seems to be coming back nicely—we’ve come to see that his kidneys are very resilient and bounce back if the team catches it quickly. He’s been receiving IPV treatments every 3 hours where a percussive machine puffs air into his lungs rapidly to expand them and loosen up secretions. We’ll keep on this course of action for the next few days and see how it looks to give Rudy another chance off the ventilator when all the conditions align.
I stayed with Rudy through early afternoon and then hustled home to switch places with Trish and enjoy the Springsteen Bowl with my boys. Great game to boot. Not much of a gambler, but I took Bruce on the over and made a killing.
This is a harrowing journey with more turns and reverses than one would want; but not without touches of grace and fun reminders of God’s hand. Amidst the breaks in progress for Rudy, we were tickled three times by three unique discoveries this weekend from among the Rudy’s Beat family:
Saturday I was chatting with Nurse Denise and we made a connection that we both once lived in Tujunga. As we shared our memories of the community, things understandably turned to where in town we lived and our descriptions of nearby streets and landmarks kept having more and more in common until we determined that we lived in the SAME HOUSE!!. She rented it in 1976 and we bought it almost 30 years later! Too funny!
I don’t think they make four-year olds cuter than Kelly and I’m so glad her parents, Mark and Mary, came from the room two doors down to introduce themselves as they were being discharged after a short stay. It’s always nice to connect with more members of the ICU Parent Tribe who know what it’s like to have your newborn in the ICU for several months. Even better when it’s a story told in past tense and you can look down and see a happy girl riding in a wagon down the hallway. As Kelly needed a follow-up operation on her heart, Mark and Mary set out to do some research on Brian Reemtsen, came across the Beat, and have been part of Rudy’s following. So glad they are on their way and their experience with the team here was consistent with ours. Thanks for stopping by, friends.
Speaking of the parent tribe, avid readers might have noticed in the comments that one of the Rudy’s Beat family spotted our friend Alan Manning in the Minneapolis airport. Sorry if it was alarming, Alan; within any following there comes the occasional stalker. Allison, remember what the nice people in the white coats told you about giving people their space. Just because Chandler and Monica are “on Friends”, doesn’t mean they are “your friends.” Think of the internet the same way. Keep your distance and stay in state—we don’t want another one of those ankle bracelets, do we? Alan, I don’t think you’re in any danger, but count your socks—she has this thing about sneaking in and taking them.
While it’s clear none of these connections would have been made without the presenting issue, I hope everyone forgives me if I don’t say that they make the ordeal worth it. Rudy’s stricken with something awful and I wish it wasn’t so, but I am grateful that within the struggle there are uncanny connections that make us laugh; reminding us that we are not left to navigate this alone but in a community we never expected. Thanks for being a part of it.